Top 5: Upcoming family activities in Jerusalem

Activities include Ice-skating at Malha Mall, Jerusalem Art Festival, and Fridays at the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo.

Jerusalem Art Festival  370 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Jerusalem Art Festival 370
(photo credit: Courtesy)
There are plenty of enriching and enjoyable events and activities to take advantage of while in Jerusalem. These are just some of the fun things for parents and kids to do together.
Fridays at the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo
The Jerusalem Biblical Zoo, formally known as The Tisch Family Zoological Gardens, offers a special winter program with something for everyone. On Fridays, musical performances (Dixie music in February and world music in March) take place at the main entrance courtyard between 12:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. At 1.30 p.m. kids and adults alike won't want to miss out on the opportunity to come up close with an elephant, take part in elephant training and to hand-feed the adorable animals. For a chance to win an elephant ride, make sure to buy a raffle ticket for NIS 1. All proceeds go to the Thailand Lamphang elephant hospital).
Kids will also love the guided animal feedings, as well as the chance to meet their favorite animal and pet them, between 11a.m. and 2 p.m. on the hour. The petting zoo for goats and sheep is open to the public throughout the day. Other musts at the zoo include the zoo train, Noah's Ark Visitor Center, Children's Zoo and Sculpture Park. Activities are weather dependent.
When: Fridays until March 31
Address: Malha
Phone: (02) 675-0111
Ice-skating at Malha Mall
As the weather continues to get colder in Jerusalem, you'll want to be bundled up and indoors and there's no warmer place than an indoor mall. Jerusalem's biggest shopping mall, the Jerusalem Malcha Mall in southern Jerusalem is offering indoor ice-skating for a limited time only (ends February 23). The plaza has been set up outside the Mashbir department store and offers half-hour skating sessions for those over the age of six. Since the rink is synthetic ice, you get to stay warm the entire time. Free skate rental is available for sizes 32-46, but remember to bring long and thick socks.
When: Until February 23
Address: Jerusalem Malcha Mall, Malcha
Phone: (02) 679-1333
Times: Sun – Thurs: noon – 10 p.m.; Fri – 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.; Sat night: one hour after Shabbat – 11 p.m.
Price: NIS 20
Herod the Great Exhibition
Parents and kids with a passion for archaeology will not want to miss out on the new Herod the Great exhibition at the renowned Israel Museum. The exhibition allows visitors the chance to stroll through reconstructed halls of King Herod’s palace and admire Herod's recently discovered tomb and 250 other archaeological artifacts and finds from Herod’s palaces in Herodium, Jericho and other sites.
Herod the Great (who ruled from 37 – 4 BCE) was considered one of Israel’s greatest builders, known for his colossal building projects in Jerusalem and elsewhere, including his expansion of the Second Temple in Jerusalem, sometimes referred to as Herod's Temple. The findings featured in this exhibit shed new light on the political, architectural, and aesthetic influence of Herod’s rule (37–4 BCE). The Museum’s exhibition is dedicated to the memory of the renowned archaeologist Professor Netzer, responsible for many of these significant discoveries who died in Herodium in 2010.
When: Until October 6
Address: The Israel Museum – 11 Ruppin Boulevard, Jerusalem
Phone: (02) 670-8811
Ah, Jerusalem! Musical at Beit Shmuel
From Bernie Kukoff, the producer of The Cosby Show, Rags to Riches and Different Strokes as well as several Broadway productions comes the english musical Ah, Jerusalem!
Centered on a middle-America family whose vacation plans are rerouted from Mexico to Jerusalem in order to retrieve a family treasure, the play packs in a time travel span of Jerusalem's 3,000 year history with surprises along the way. The show takes place at the Hirsch Theater in the Beit Shmuel complex overlooking the walls of the Old City. Ah, Jerusalem! is slated to become a must-see event for any tourist visiting Israel.

When: From February 21; Sundays and Thursdays at 8 p.m.
Address: 6 Eliyahu Shama St, Jerusalem
Phone: (02) 623-7000
Price: NIS 85 – NIS 100
Jerusalem Art Festival
The 12th Jerusalem Arts Festival is an annual arts and culture extravaganza that showcases the best in local dance, theater and music. A few anticipated highlights of the festival include a dance production of Cinderella, the play Hairspray (in English with Hebrew subtitles), the Baroque opera "The Coronation of Poppaea", and an evening of Jewish and Arabic songs "Between East and West."
Every evening there will be two free musical performances in a variety of genres – one at 7.30 p.m. – 8.30 p.m., and another at 10.30 p.m. - 12:30 a.m. Performances take place at the Jerusalem Theater, the YMCA Hall, at Beit Shmuel, the Gerard Bechar Center, St. Andrew's Church and other cultural sites around Jerusalem.
When: March 11 – March 19
Phone: (02) 629-8141/6 is a new online international travel portal offering all the latest information on things to do, places to eat and places to stay in Jerusalem